2015 Ford Mustang GT: The Mods Make It Better
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 5, 2016
I was skeptical. When the idea of modifying our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT originally came up, I figured the Ford Racing suspension would wreck its ride/handling balance and that the short-throw shifter would suck.
I was wrong on both counts.
Our Mustang is better than ever.
The suspension in particular surprised me with its compliance, as it retains good bump absorption even with a noticeable amount of additional roll control. This is absolutely key when it comes to road cars. Also, the fore-aft pitching endemic to all Mustangs (even this new car does it, though to a lesser degree than the stick-axle ones) is reduced, too. Its lower ride height hasn't resulted in irksome bump steer like I expected, either.
To be sure, this suspension isn't something that you'd select for a dedicated track car running slicks. It's too soft for that. But for daily driving and/or dual purpose use, it's totally fine. I'm really impressed by it. I never thought I'd say this, but I prefer it to the stock suspension. Unlike many aftermarket suspensions, you'd never regret installing it on a street car.
That goes for short-throw shifters too, which normally introduce so much effort to the gear change that it just makes the process annoying. The Ford Racing shifter is only a touch higher effort, but not so much that it's totally out of whack with its other controls. Balance is the key. As an aside, this matching of control efforts and linearity is something that Porsche does better than any other automaker, and it's a significant factor in why their cars are so rewarding to drive.
Thanks to the metallic shifter bushing included in the kit, the Ford Racing shifter slots into its gates with more precision, too. This bushing also transmits more noise than the plastic bushing it replaces, which is why you hear a smidge of gear whine through this new shifter, along with some endearing clicks as it moves through the gates. But the noise is never too prominent or insistent or annoying. More like a little bit of character thrown in to remind you that you're piloting a machine.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 20,620 miles